Monday, February 20, 2012

Perfect Job

Look, there are no perfect jobs.

As much as it hurts, it's really simple! If there were any, the term job or work wouldn't be burdened with all its subtly negative connotations! We'd probably call it a paid vacation.

At least that's what I used to think. But in recent times I look around and find many of my own peers - even more so when it comes to our disenchanted juniors - endlessly bellyaching over the apparently horrific conditions at their hellish workplaces with a handful daydreaming about opting out to find that elusive dream job where the grass is decidedly greener.

Goldilocks : This job doesn't suit me.
Paul : This is your fifth job.
Goldilocks : Just doesn't challenge me.
Paul : The last one challenged you too much.
Goldilocks : That one was far too stressful.
Paul : Now this one has too little pay.
Goldilocks : Yes.
Paul : So what will you do?
Goldilocks : Maybe I need a break from work.
Paul : You tried that already! ANd it's only been six months!
Goldilocks : I don't like it already.
Paul : So when the going gets tough, you get going as well?

Seriously? We're not even talking about slaving away 24/7 in reeking, rat-infested basement sweatshops but a couple of hours tapping away on ergonomic keyboards in air-conditioned, perfectly appointed offices. And their megalomaniacal bosses might be watching over them like a hawk but at least he doesn't wield a big stick.

Fucking hell! I can do better than this!

Perhaps that's the pragmatic part of me that's Asian. Haven't they heard of swallowing a bit of bitterness? Although judging by their high-flying, well-paid positions, it's more like swallowing that teaspoon of bitter with a whole Noritake jug of pure Manuka honey. Has our generation become so effectively pampered that we can't even stomach that little bit?

Or are these rolling stones just incapable of remaining in that one steady job since they seek the impossible?

Far be it for me to stop these modern-day Pollyannas from chasing their sweet electric dreams! I'm not saying keep drinking that bitter bile of dejection forever - some workplaces can be really horrible - so there's no need to simply accept that miserable lot in life.

But while chasing that illusory mirage of the perfect job, some misguided perceptions have to change.

Accept that nothing in life is ever gonna be perfect. There are no perfect jobs - even fairytale princesses can grow tired of waving charmingly to the adoring crowds. Every meal ticket has a price tag. That crummy miserable job you're holding now isn't going to change but you can certainly turn that around to make it suit you. Find something worthwhile in what you're doing and love it. There's some truth in the power of positive thinking so make yourself adore it even if it kills you.

Think of me as Harry Poppins doling out that spoonful of tough love.

If even that's hard to swallow, then take my advice, head back to college and take up geology. It might not be perfect but from what I've seen, it's as near to perfect as any.


ooi2009 said...

at the end of the day , gov job is still the best

rotiboy said...

I think it's a shift of what the generation wants. I don't think our generation is totally to be blamed on this—every generation has different things they pursue. But companies in American and European countries are pretty fast in adapting to this change of wants. IMO Asian companies are still lagging behind and failing to address this, thus all the brain drain.

savante said...

Not really, ooi :)

Going after a better job is alright, rotiboy - but at the same time rather than whine about the job, you can always find something to like about it. If not there's always something to hate about the next job too.

min said...

well said..thanks for the very inspiring post. was following your post for a while, like your writing style a lot. always learnt some new vocab in your posts.

Junn said...

off topic..
How is Pemberly reno going-on as you were talking about Pemberly on V-day? Did you manage to catch Nate on astro?

savante said...

Thanks a lot, min!

Well the main renovation is done on Pemberley, junn. Taking a while to pick out furniture though. By Nate, do you mean Nate Berkus?


Kenny Mah said...

"Eating bitterness" - old so wise are those Chinese ancestors of ours. Either that or they sure enjoy taking their medicine... :P

john chen hui long said...

i'm resigned to that fact that there'll be good days and bad days at work. that helps me put things into perspective. although work is part of my life, it is just a small part.

Junn said...

Yes, Paul. By Nate, I mean the only one Nate Berkus. It started showing I think 3/4 weeks ago though, apparently postponed by a week (with no announcement). Imagine me staring at the tv to see Nate, but saw the rerun of 'love it or list it' instead. Furniture will took months, I suggest you just have to move in :).